Elvis' manager, Col. Tom Parker, borrowed the idea, and often passed out 'Elvis for President' buttons, which were a big success.
And fans often made 'Elvis for President' signs.
They were all on to something: Elvis for President is a great idea.
Elvis fans often made 'Elvis for President' signs.
Elvis even jokingly announced his bid for the presidency at a concert. (Listen below).
'He's all for love, love, love
He's all for kiss, kiss, kiss
He's all for hug, hug, hug, hug, hug
Who else can give you this?!
Because a vote for him
Is a vote for Rock 'n' Roll
Elvis Presley (yesss!) for President!'
Unforgettable lyrics, heard on Lou Monte's RCA release Elvis Presley For President, from the summer of 1956.
Elvis was the ideal presidential candidate: He was a proud American who served in the United States Army; he gave back to his community; and he actually had the backing of, and connections with, a few U.S. Presidents.
In 1961, President Lyndon Johnson wrote Elvis a letter to thank him for his fundraising efforts for the USS Arizona memorial. When Elvis learned Johnson kept three TVs in the White House, he was inspired - he immediately purchased three TVs for Graceland, too. Those three TVs are in the TV Room at Graceland.
Elvis starred alongside President Ronald Reagan's daughter Maureen in the 1964 comedy 'Kissin' Cousins'.
Also in attendance were Elvis' friend Jerry Schilling and Egil 'Bud' Krogh, a White House official and FBI liaison. The pair recalled the historic meeting. Watch below.
Jerry Schilling and Egil 'Bud' Krogh, recall Elvis at the White House (07:03)
Also in attendance were Elvis' friend Jerry Schilling and Egil 'Bud' Krogh, a White House official and FBI liaison.
Elvis even jokingly announced his bid for the presidency at a concert.
Presidents continue to pay respect to the king.
President Bill Clinton admires Elvis so much he's adopted the nickname 'Elvis'. He cemented his 1992 presidential victory by playing 'Heartbreak Hotel' on the saxophone on the Arsenio Hall Show.
During the 1950s when he was in the fourth grade, President George W. Bush's greatest aspiration was to be Elvis Presley, First Lady Laura Bush said Wednesday during a ceremony to honor Teacher of the Year.
In 2006, President George W. Bush visited Graceland with the Prime Minister of Japan.
In January 1971, Elvis was honored by the United States Jaycees as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men in the Nation. It was the only award Elvis ever accepted in person, and it was at the awards luncheon that he met U.N. Ambassador George H. W. Bush (who would later become President). Bush warned politicians to 'watch out' if Elvis ever decided to enter politics. 'They would have to regroup their forces', he said.
When the world mourned Elvis' death in 1977, President Jimmy Carter eloquently summed up Americans' feelings. 'Elvis Presley's death deprives our country of a part of itself. He was unique and irreplaceable', he said. Elvis 'permanently changed the face of American popular culture. His following was immense, and he was a symbol to people the world over of the vitality, rebelliousness and good humor of his country'.
At the height of his fame, Elvis served in the U.S. Army. He was on active duty from 1958-1964, climbing the ranks to become a Sergeant.
Elvis addressed the Tennessee State Legislature on March 8, 1961, and accepted the title of 'Honorary Colonel'.
After he was discharged from the Army, Elvis continued to serve his country with his charitable donations. He gave thousands to charities each year of his life, many times quietly without any public recognition.
His Home is the 'White House of Rock 'n' Roll'
Elvis' home, Graceland, has been an ambassador to the world by welcoming almost 20 million visitors from around the world since opening to the public in 1982. And who needs Air Force One? Elvis had his own airplane, the Lisa Marie, named after his daughter.
Fans make the ultimate rock 'n' roll pilgrimage to see the king's castle, as well as his cars, hundreds of Gold and Platinum records and more.
If I can dream of a better land
Where all my brothers walk hand in hand
Tell me why, oh why, can't my dream come true?
Would Elvis get your vote?
He's the King of Rock 'n' Roll, but he's also the perfect candidate for President!
The Elvis Strategy 1992
By Greil Marcus;
Published: October 27, 1992
In no Presidential year was Elvis Presley been so inseparable from the action as in 1992.
Soon after the New Hampshire primary, the news media noted an odd phenomenon: interest in the Postal Service's Elvis-stamp election seemed to outstrip public concern for the primaries themselves. The intensity of the national joke-cum-struggle over the choice between the old and young Elvis revealed, among other things, a profound dissatisfaction with the candidates actually on view. The stamp election was more fun, and perhaps more meaningful, than the real one. Thus when Ross Perot emerged to fill the void Elvis' ghost had revealed, Mr. Perot was not only himself -- steely-eyed Mr. Fixit -- he was also the weirdest Elvis stand-in anyone had ever seen.
The weirdest, but not, in this political year, the most eager. Bill Clinton, a lifelong Elvis fan, won that prize. The press corps secretly called him 'Elvis' -- 'Elvis with a calculator' was one of the better variations. But by the end of the primary season, a wan version of the King's lazy grin seemed nearly all the candidate had left. When Governor Clinton sang a verse of 'Don't Be Cruel' in a CNN interview, it sounded like a loser's plea.
Then came the great shift. Ross Perot decided not to run, George Bush went nowhere and Bill Clinton surged. In July, 'Elvis Aron Presley' was listed in the party literature as the 'Entertainment Coordinator' of the Democratic Convention. Al Gore told the convention it had always been his dream to come 'to Madison Square Garden and be the warm-up act for Elvis'.
The President's attacks were couched in bizarre Elvisisms: the Governor was on all sides of every issue. 'He's been spotted in more places than Elvis Presley', Mr. Bush complained. 'I guess you'd say his plan really is 'Elvis Economics', he continued: 'America will be checking into the 'Heartbreak Hotel'.
Despite Bill Clinton's growing lead, the President persisted into the fall. 'I finally figured out why [Clinton] compares himself to Elvis', he said. 'The minute he has to take a stand on something, he starts wiggling'.
The tone was sour, like 1950's bluenoses sniffing at 'Elvis the Pelvis'. You could almost hear Elvis objecting. (He hated the word 'wiggle'.) Even Mr. Clinton finally felt free to join the conversation. 'I don't think Bush would have liked Elvis very much', he said.
It was a charge the President couldn't pork rind, and it raised the question of why he would risk alienating working-class white Southerners with remarks that disparaged a cultural hero.
The simple answer is this: slap Elvis on anything and you'll be noticed. Elvis in a speech is a guaranteed sound bite on the evening news. But if Elvis is a hook, he -- or it -- is also a hook lodged in millions of hearts. You're guaranteed a response when you pull the Elvis cord, but there's no guarantee what the response will be.
For Mr. Bush, the invocation backfired. For Russell Feingold, the Democratic senatorial candidate in Wisconsin, it was a charm. The candidate's primary victory was due in large part to a TV ad featuring an Enquirer-style 'Elvis Endorses Feingold' story. Last week in Milwaukee, Mr. Clinton endorsed Mr. Feingold, saying: 'The real reason that I so deeply, deeply support him is that Elvis supports him'.
And for Bill Clinton, Elvis clearly helped. After the primaries, when he had fallen drastically behind Mr. Bush and Mr. Perot, he took his saxophone onto 'The Arsenio Hall Show' and blew 'Heartbreak Hotel'. That moment may have turned the race around. Mr. Clinton stepped forward as if to say: All right. Who cares. Let's rip it up.
For the first time in the campaign Bill Clinton was more Elvis than calculator. The spirit of freedom in Elvis' best music is a freedom of self-discovery -- and that night Bill Clinton accepted the gift. Playing the old song as best he could, he was more fan than star, more himself than Elvis, but perhaps just Elvis enough.
Greil Marcus is author of 'Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession'.